Crockpot Apple Cider Braised Pork

Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start!

I was really kind of hoping for a day at home today because my life is an absolute mess. I just need a day to organize my house, my thoughts, everything. But alas, we’re out of dishwasher tabs and I have plans to handwash all the dishes today. I considered overnighting some from Amazon but then I realized how ridiculous that would be. Even for me.

And you know that once I’m out there in the wild, I’m gonna need to stop by at least a couple thrift stores to see if there’s any Pyrex in need of a good home.

I also have to go by the library and pay for the 2 books that Penelope (#idiothusky) decided to eat last week.

In other words, ugggghhhhh.

Anyway, we’re finally done with fall sports and I am incredibly grateful that we didn’t have a single game or practice that involved shivering in the snow.

But at the final football game, I heard those dreaded words. You know the ones.

“We’re gonna have our end-of-season party at…”

Just give my kid his trophy and let me go continue my life as a hermit, dangit!

But we went and I used it as an excuse to wear the new booties that I haven’t had a chance to wear yet.

The party was at Bass Pro Shops which I thought was just a store with fishing stuff but somehow serves pizza and has a bowling alley inside. And it’s, like, a really cool bowling alley with sharks coming from the ceiling and the bowling ball returner-thingies (technical term) are crocodile mouths. But it was absolute craziness for 3 hours.

And then the next morning I woke up with hives.

This is what kid parties do to me.

I decided to share this really delicious Slow Cooker Apple Cider Braised Pork with you today since it is Monday and you’re probably already dreading cooking dinner. (I am!) If you happen to have a pork roast and some cider on hand, I’ve got you covered.

I love doing pork in the slow cooker. It just turns out so tender and there’s so much you can do with it. I just made a sauce to pour over the shredded meat but you could easily mix it with a little barbecue sauce and put in on sandwiches.

 

Crockpot Apple Cider Braised Pork

Click for the full recipe

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I had a cold over the weekend (story of my life – my kids get sniffles and I am on my death bed) so all of Saturday, I laid around and watched Food Network. I haven’t watched Food Network in ages but I got sucked into old Ina episodes and next thing I knew I was watching something called My Food Obsession.

Have you seen it? It’s quite weird but I couldn’t stop watching. I saw an episode about a girl who’s boyfriend broke up with her because she ate while she was sleeping. And then one about a guy who drinks 7 glasses of vinegar a day. Then there was a girl who was afraid of creamy foods. Yogurt, cheesy nachos, mac & cheese, stuff like that.

I mean, can you imagine?

Life without nachos and mac & cheese?

Coincidentally, I’d made this Slow Cooker Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese the day before. And it was awesome and I wondered how anybody could possibly be afraid of something so amazing.

I won’t lie, I was a little worried. I don’t really love gruyere to begin with and the one I used smelled like dirty socks. You guys know I love a stinky cheese but man, that gruyere was rough. Maybe I’m just not sophisticated enough to appreciate dirty socks gruyere.

It worked out really well though – the American cheese gave it that almost-Velveeta texture but not gummy like Velveeta. And the other two cheeses were delicious together.

And, of course, the best part is that it’s cooked in the slow cooker! It’s not something you can leave going all day while you’re at work but it’s great for parties or holidays when you already have 4 pots on the stove.

Click for the full recipe

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I kind of mentioned last week that I’m in the middle of a major power struggle with one of the kiddos over food.

I think part of it is normal and then I think part of it is just because he just really loves to aggravate me. He’ll say things like, “I don’t like chicken. Except McDonald’s chicken nuggets.”

Oh, well isn’t that convenient!

Or, like on the night I made these Slow Cooker Aloha Pork Chops, he informed me that he doesn’t like pork. And I told him that I guess he won’t be having bacon anymore and bacon is his FAVORITE.

It took him about an hour but he eventually said that maybe he does like pork after all and he agreed to give it a try. And he loved it! Because what’s not to love about pork chops cooked in pineapple juice?

These were a huge hit with all the kids and a bigger hit with me because I had to do basically zero work. They cooked all day and then I simmered the sauce for about 10 minutes just to get it thickened up a little bit. I served it with mashed cauliflower in an effort to be healthy but the kids were not a fan and next time I’ll definitely serve it with rice. The extra sauce would be delicious on rice!

Click for the full recipe

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I call this “The Stove Saga”.

If you were around last deployment, you may remember “The A/C Saga” which is oddly similar to this one.

Okay, so I have one working burner on my stove. Is it called a burner when it’s a gas stove? I have no idea. But only one of them works.

And this happened because way back in March, my stove started ticking.

(Let it be known that at this time, I had 3 working burners.)

A really nice guy came to fix it and I was grateful that he didn’t judge me based on the amount of dust and dog hair that was behind the oven.

Buuut, by the time he was done “fixing it”, the one burner that hadn’t previously worked was the only one working.

So I’ve had one burner since then. Which isn’t TOO bad but it gets annoying. Like, I can’t boil noodles and cook sauce at the same time. What was once a 20 minute meal now takes an hour. So yeah, it’s annoying.

But I stuck it out because I always feel like the maintenance guys have better things to do. There’s probably someone on post experiencing a leak in their roof or something equally horrible and I don’t want to take the maintenance guys away from stuff like that.

I realize this is most likely some deep-rooted self-esteem issue that I should probably be discussing with a therapist and not my food blog. But whatever.

Every few weeks, I get really fed up and I call the office and tell them the story and they say they’ll call me back. And they never do.

Actually, one time they did and the women told me to call her back but the number she left wasn’t in service which just made me angrier than if she hadn’t called at all.

Well, I’m officially at my end with it. And this is pretty typical of me. I wait and wait and put up with stuff and deal with it. And then I’m done all at once. And I’m fighting back tears in a housing office filled with soldiers while my kids quack loudly because they’re amused by the echo.

Uggghhhh, Army housing.

So I’m waiting for a phonecall. Again. I’ll keep you updated.

Until it’s fixed, I’ll be using my slow cooker a lot. I made this earlier in the week and my kids gobbled it up. They said it tasted like the sweet & sour chicken they always get from our favorite Chinese place.

Click for the full recipe

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My kids have been obsessed with meatballs lately. I guess I should say more obsessed because meatballs have always been a favorite. But lately, they can’t get enough. I made spaghetti the other night and all the meatballs were gone well before the noodles were!

Since a couple of my boys are currently going through weird picky stages, I’ve decided we’re having meatballs for every meal!

No, not really but I figured I could make them more often and switch it up from the usual spaghetti.

My kids ate this entire recipe of Hawaiian Meatballs. In one sitting. And then asked me to make them again when I told them they were all gone.

I thought they were really good too and I was happy that the recipe didn’t call for ketchup because you guys know I hate (and by hate, I mean I secretly love) when recipes call for large amounts of ketchup in the sauce.

But this one is just pineapple juice and brown sugar! Feel free to make your own meatballs if you’re feeling more ambitious but the frozen ones worked just fine!

One year ago: Grapefruit Margaritas
Two years ago: 
Grown-Up Strawberry Slushies
Three years ago: French Dip
Five years ago: Anadama
Six years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

Ingredients

3 pound package frozen meatballs
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained BUT save the juice!
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Instructions

  1. Put meatballs and pineapple chunks in slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, white vinegar, soy sauce, and cayenne (if using). Pour over the meatballs.
  3. Cook on low for 3 - 4 hours.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/05/15/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs/

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